Personally, I think the term “bullying” is often overused. I can remember many situations from my own childhood that may have qualified as bullying, but were simply referred to as kids being mean. These experiences definitely shaped who I am today.
The world is full of many kinds of people and people can be cruel. But instead of just focusing on teaching children to stand up to bullies I love the ideas shared in this article about changing our culture.
“We can talk about empathy and kindness, or other important values, discuss what these values mean, and set clear expectations — requiring children, for example, to help out kids on the playground who are isolated. But we should remember that what we say means very little if we don’t practice what we preach.”
Last December, my family and I embarked on a month of Random Acts of Kindness. My goal was to teach them by doing. I wanted them to be involved in making someone feel special for a day by receiving a candy cane bouquet. We donated toys to kids in need. We brought food to a food pantry. We brought hot cocoa to our crossing guard. We sat together to come up with a list of things we could do. And it was so amazing to watch their interest in this small project. They really cared about these acts. We didn’t end world hunger, but I think we created more than a few smiles and an awesome dialogue.
So I challenge you and your family to help change our culture so that kindness comes first. The bullies will be outnumbered and our kids will flourish.